Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Book Tour + Review: The First Girl (Detective Katie Scott #11) by Jennifer Chase @JChaseNovelist @pumpupyourbook


Detective Katie Scott stares in horror at what she and her K9 Cisco have discovered: seven shallow graves, the bodies of young women each wrapped carefully in a blanket and buried in makeshift coffins in a rural area.

Title: The First Girl: Detective Katie Scott Book 11

Author: Jennifer Chase

Publication Date: December 19, 2023

Pages: 354

Genre: Crime Fiction/Thriller

The cold night breeze slams the barn door shut with a sickening crash. The girl curled in the corner wakes with a start. Her gold butterfly necklace catches the pale moonlight as she clutches it tight, thinking of her family. Will she ever escape? Or is this the last face she’ll ever see?

Detective Katie Scott stares in horror at what she and her service dog Cisco have discovered: seven shallow graves, the bodies of young women each wrapped carefully in a blanket and buried in makeshift coffins. Miles of abandoned farmland stretch out from the treeline behind her. Has Katie uncovered the horrifying graveyard of a monster who has been stealing Pine Valley’s daughters for years?

Katie quickly identifies one of the victims as Abigail Andrews, a beautiful young woman who disappeared fifteen years ago. Katie is heartbroken that she’ll have to tell Abigail’s mother her darling girl is gone.

When Katie is ambushed working late at the scene, fired upon by an unknown assailant, she knows she must be close to finding the killer. But the shooter vanishes into thin air. And when a new young woman is taken, dark haired and dark eyed like the others, Katie realizes her time is running out. Can she stay alive long enough to track down this twisted murderer before another young life is stolen too soon?

“Fast paced, characters intelligent and had each others back. The plot was a bit harrowing, but from what plot entailed I was confident one of the main protagonists, Katie had the situation under control. At least the best of her capabilities as the situation warranted. This ebook was fresh, tasteful and powerful. It was a boon to read about a female with military experience who maintained a level head and who put her knowledge to practice.” ~Amazon 

“AMAZING characters (including Cisco of coarse) & suspense in a twisty plot that sucks you in & never lets you go. Highly RECOMMEND the entire series for some great reading.”  ~NetGalley

AMAZING characters (including Cisco of coarse) & suspense in a twisty plot that sucks you in & never lets you go. Highly RECOMMEND the entire series for some great reading.” ~Goodreads

The First Girl is available at Amazon & Other Retailers.

Book Excerpt:

The soft breeze blew through the open bedroom window, ruffling the sheer curtain. The evening was still warm from the sizzling day and was now gently cooling into the July night. The crickets played a harmony of music that filtered around the farm and across the acreage.

Lara Fontaine suddenly awoke, a loud sound interrupting her sleep. She sat up in bed and looked around the small bedroom but wasn’t sure what she had heard. In the other twin bed, her best friend Desi was still asleep and breathing evenly. What had disturbed Lara? Her first thought was to wake her friend because it was Desi’s house and she might have some idea what the sound had been, but she decided against it. She swung her legs over the side of the bed, where they dangled, not quite reaching the floor. Still contemplating if she should go investigate, she stared at the closed bedroom door. Even though she was twelve, almost thirteen, she had developed a curious mind and wanted to know the answers to so many things. Everything she saw in her world made her more inquisitive.

Lara stood up, feeling the wood floor against the soles of her feet—it too was warm, like the evening air. Wearing only a white cotton nightgown, she decided to explore. Glancing back at Desi, who was still sound asleep, she went to the door and slowly turned the knob. To her relief, the door hinges were well-oiled and didn’t emit any sound.

A breeze hit her as she stepped into the hallway, which seemed strange. It was as if someone had left a door or a window open. She didn’t slow her pace as she moved forward. For the first time since she woke, she heard a noise, as if a chair was sliding across the floor. It was high-pitched and had an eerie quality about it.

As if being pulled by an unknown force, Lara crept toward the sound. She headed down the hallway, passing closed doors, to the kitchen. The farmhouse plank floors creaked beneath her slight weight. She stopped and listened. Leaning her body toward the sound, stretching on her tiptoes, she assumed she would hear more, but it remained quiet. As Lara let out a breath, her previous curiosity had now diminished, she decided she would return to the bedroom and try to go back to sleep.

But suddenly a strong arm grabbed her around the waist and clamped a hand over her mouth. She instantly struggled, but the man’s strength easily overpowered her as he carried Lara to the back door. She could smell stale cigarette smoke on him and some kind of whiskey. The more she struggled against him, the more she weakened. Her whimpers were the only thing she could express.

The outside air hit her. She kept struggling, hearing her attacker’s rattled breathing next to her ear. Realizing they were heading toward the large barn, she tried to put her legs out in front of her to stop their progress, but it was no use.

“Stop fighting,” hissed the man directly into Lara’s ear. “It’ll be over soon.”

Those words resonated in her mind.

What did he mean?

The crickets abruptly stopped.


Holding Lara with one arm, the man pulled open the barn door. The hinges made a terrible squeak, interrupting the quiet.

“Stop!” Lara managed to say. “Please, don’t…” Her arm felt as if it would break.

They moved deeper into the barn.

Lara could smell the hay and the alfalfa. But there was a low murmuring sound that she didn’t recognize. She was forcibly put into an old metal chair and immediately her hands and ankles were secured, and a piece of duct tape covered her mouth.

It was difficult for Lara to focus through her tears, but she forced herself to look around. There were wooden crates filled with metal items, tools, and miscellaneous parts from various pieces of farm equipment. Then she saw her.

In a corner, there was a dark-haired young woman. She too was tied to a high-backed chair, unable to free herself. Her arms, legs, torso, and neck were secured. Her eyes were wide in terror, swollen from crying, and blood ran down her arms and neck from struggling against the restraints.

Lara locked eyes with the woman. So many emotions gripped her. Panic. Desperation. Fear.

The man moved around the area, he was dressed in jeans and a white, stained T-shirt. He appeared to be conflicted, confused, and even a bit panic-stricken as he ran his hands through his hair. Moving back and forth, he went from one box to a table, and then back to another box until he decided what he wanted. He carefully plucked out a long instrument that appeared to be some type of sharp, thin knife and stared at it with curiosity and wonder as if seeing it for the first time.

To Lara’s horror, he turned and approached the woman. With his back to Lara, he attacked the woman with vicious intent. She heard muffled screams as the woman writhed in her seat.

Lara could barely breathe. She thought she would pass out, but her unrelenting terror kept her awake as she shook violently in her chair, watching the horrifying ordeal until it finally came to an end.

The man turned slowly, his shirt soaked in crimson. He looked at Lara as if he wondered why she was there. Still with the bloody tool in his hand, he slowly moved toward her. The weapon was still drenched with the woman’s blood.

“No…” Lara tried to say.

He stood in front of her like a monster, reaching out.

Lara took a short breath. It was the last thing she remembered before passing out.


My Review:

The First Girl is the eleventh book in the Detective Katie Scott series by Jennifer Chase. The First Girl is a great read for fans of missing persons and cold cases.

The First Girl starts off with a blast and never lets up. There is mystery and suspense on just about every page. Katie and Sean are well known for solving cold cases. The First Girl tells the story of a girl who went missing long ago.

They are called out to a crime scene and find a body during their search of the property. Katie dreads telling the girl’s mother that her daughter is no longer missing. Katie and Sean’s case turns up more bodies.

Katie wants to solve this case as she is still dealing with her missing fiancé Chad. She knows she is going to have to put Chad on the back burner for a while if she is going to be able to concentrate on the case.

Katie and Sean know they are getting close to finding their killer after they are attacked at the farm late one night while they are going over the crime scene once again. Can Katie and Sean solve the case and discover who the killer is before someone else goes missing?

If you like your stories full of twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat trying to figure it all out as you race to the end then I think you are going to love The First Girl or any book from the Detective Katie Scott series. Grab a copy today and help Katie and her partner Detective Sean McGaven solve a case.  

About the Author

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and USA Today Best Selling crime fiction author, as well as a consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent psychopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. Her latest book is The First Girl.

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